“there is green stuff floating in that glass of water…i’m assuming it’s yours?” set the mood: Rocky Racoon

February 19, 2006 at 6:32 am Leave a comment

There’s always green stuff floating in my water.
Having viewed the most rececnt Strongbad email at Homestar Runner, I was reminded of The Legend of Boody Creek, a terrible film I reviewed several years ago.
So, instead of writing something new and exciting, cause that would require some effort and brain function, I’m pulling out this piece from the portfolio, partly because I find it a little amusing (I still consider a job in the film critic field from time to time), and I would like to spread the camporrody gospel. It’s about time this movement be given a real, solid, ridiculous name.

Back in the year 2002 I wrote…

It is a tradition of sorts for Lisa and myself to venture once a week to the local video store to rent a bad horror movie. Bad horror movies are the best kind in our opinion, because they are cost effective, creative and entertaining as hell. We believe that they should invent a special genre for the bad horror film, give it a name of it’s own that describes the comedy, campy, and unhorrifying aspects of all that fall into this category. From now on, it shall be deemed camporrody. There are many different levels of camporrody, basically there is the good (Sleepaway Camp, The Evil Dead, Dead End), the bad (Blood Feast, Sleepaway Camp II & III), and the not worth the time and effort to watch.

First off, let’s discuss the positive aspects of this genre. Most young, aspiring filmmakers go with camporrody because it is cheap and easy to make. All you really need is a camera, a couple of people who have no acting experience, a convoluted idea, and some corn syrup. Depending on how convoluted your idea is, you may need a lot of corn syrup . In fact, you may need none whatsoever, the decision made by the creators of The Legend of Boggy Creek.

Despite being located in the “Horror” region of the video store, The Legend of Boggy Creek is far from horrifying. It intrigued us at first, the box was particularly amusing with its poorly painted picture of a hairy monster ploughing through the mountains at sunset and its close-up of the same picture duplicated on the back. Before renting, I did some research, always a good idea when you are going to hand over five dollars and 87 minutes of your life to something made in 1975. Videohound’s Horror Show gave it one and a half bones, not too shabby when it comes to camporrody, and said that it was hugely popular drive-in release. Good start. Also mentioned that the Fouke monster is really more like “a guy in a gorilla suit who never does anything particularly threatening.” Sounded camporriphic to me.

Right off the top, we were slightly wary about our purchase. When the gigantic THIS FILM IS RATED PG BY THE MPAA came up on the screen, we groaned a little, feeling as though perhaps this won’t turn out to be the craptacular camporrody we had hoped for. Then the movie started.

The general idea around this film seems to be that the small town of Fouke is being terrorized by a monster in Boggy Creek. Everything is rainbows and balloons until sunset, and people hide in their houses, fearing the noises from outside. The first couple of times one actually sees the monster however, it appears to be the middle of the afternoon. Poor use of the day for night technique, if you ask me. A hunter in the woods sees him and concludes that he is “washing his feet in the ice cold creek.” A young boy sees him standing there, then shoots him several times before running away screaming. The monster just cowers in pain. A woman and her three young children run into the monster while on a walk around their tree-sheltered property. They scream in horror and the monster just stands there.

The real problem with this as a horror film is that nothing ever happens. The monster doesn’t do anything. Sure eventually they find a mutilated cow and a dog whose skin has been removed from his skull, but anyone could have done that. Hell, if I were a nut in Arkansas, I would probably torture and kill things too if it could easily be blamed on the hairy outcast. Really, it just seems as though the monster wants a friend. He approaches several houses filled with young people and doesn’t do anything terrible until they start screaming and running around in circles. And even then he just retreats back to the woods. Going back to wash his feet in the creek again I suppose.

It’s as though these filmmakers decided that they couldn’t fictionalize reality in the least for the sake of entertainment. Apparently this is based on true events and that all the players are representing themselves. Now there is keeping truth intact and telling a boring story. This is a boring story. The only aspect that made it remotely amusing was the fact that it was so bad and tried so hard to be good. The filmmakers didn’t even have anything to do with what we laughed about the entire time; the back of the box described the monster as being “unbelievable fast,” a typo we couldn’t let go of. Yes, he was unbelievable fast when he ran in front of that car. So unbelievable fast that we thought it was a glitch in the tape, and only noticed the hairy legs interfering with the beams upon closer inspection.

The film’s technical aspects were very distracting (in possibly a good way) from the overall story line. All the shots were either very long or extreme close-ups (and I mean extreme) and the film, due to poor quality Betacam stock or aging left the images yellow, grainy and fuzzy. If there was a focus puller on set, which I really doubt since the quality didn’t look like it had any focusing ability whatsoever, he must have been drunk or comatose. It was difficult at times to even tell if the monster was in the shot or not.

Alright, so The Legend of Boggy Creek was made (obviously) with little to no budget, the first rule of camporrody. And the film was slightly creative with its gorilla suit, bad narration and ridiculous folk music. Okay, I did find it mildly entertaining, I mean how could I not when I was in tears over the image of Travis Crabtree canoeing along with his own folk tune in the background? But The Legend of Boggy Creek, due to its unnecessary length, still falls in the “not worth the time and effort to watch” category.

The Legend of Boggy Creek
1975
Travis Crabtree, Herb Jones
^^^^^
(My rating system may be confusing…the above are, as I was told in Kindergarden, ‘hats’, for vowels in the language they call “French.” As I do not know the proper term for them, hats they have alwasy been. The concept here is simple: hats cause hat hair, the more hats you wear, the worse the hat hair tends to get. Five hats means this is one of the worst movies of all time.)

Ha ha. Upon internet inspection, http://www.smokeyandthefoukemonster.com is the place to go in order to learn more about the history of this film. And, interestingly (if not completely confusing) it has been released onto dvd (!) and is available for as low as 12.95 from independent sellers at Amazon.com.

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Entry filed under: , Reviews (more ranting).

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